ॐ एकदन्ताय विद्महे
तन्नो दन्ति प्रचोदयात्॥
Om ekadantAya vidmahe
vakratUnDAya dhImahi |
tanno danti pracodayAt ||
Om. May we know the one with a single tusk
May we meditate on the one with a curved trunk
May that tusked one illumine our path
and enlighten us
Like all Hindu representations of God, the form and customary worship of Ganesh is based on spiritual symbolism. In this mantra, the following characteristics of Ganesh are highlighted:
- single tusk ~ Ganesh has broken off one of his tusks, which symbolizes the breaking of duality, and the associated destruction of all obstacles.
- curved trunk ~ When Ganesh's trunk goes straight down from his forehead and then first turns to his left, this symbolizes his ability to bestow moksha, or liberation, which is often symbolized by a bowl of sweet balls in his left hand.
- illuminate ~ Powerful Ganesh illuminates the pathway to enlightenment. His vehicle, a mouse, symbolizes that there is no where in our lives or souls that Ganesh cannot go.
Ganesh mantras are powerful, and are chanted by many people every day. It's easy to see why! Ganesh is a very popular, widely loved and worshiped form of God.
Ganesh or Ganesha? Both are correct. In Sanskrit some words that end with a consonant are pronounced with a subtle "shuh" or "hah" (or similar) after the last consonant(s). Writing and pronouncing Ganesha and raga (for example) in English overstate this sound, while Ganesh and rag understate it. It is somewhere in between. If you try, you'll find that tiny breath. Breath sounds are very important in Sanskrit.
VIDEO: I prefer this gentle, traditional chant of this mantra,
chanted by Brahmin priests
(begins with opening mantras)